One Church, Many Voices

Living our faith out loudPhoto of Sue Washburn preaching

by Sue Washburn

A few months ago I was sitting in a mall parking lot talking on the phone with Patrick Heery, former editor of Presbyterians Today magazine and this blog. I was excited to hear what he had to say. I pulled over from my commute to take notes.

He felt called, he said, to take Presbyterians Today magazine beyond its traditional form and into the digital age. His vision was for a blog that brought together faithful members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to talk frequently and publicly about the issues facing the church. The blog’s voices would be diverse, respectful, and loving. We would be living our denomination’s foundational principal of unity in diversity in a very public way.

And so that’s what we are doing today! We are living our love of Christ out loud. Our faith may be personal, but it’s not private. How we live it and wield it publicly matters. Here’s how a few of our bloggers are trying to do just that!

Magdalena I. García: I think we collectively are saying to the church that God is doing a new thing and that new thing is right before us!

Jeff Schooloey: We have A LOT to say in this community. This can be seen in the many, constructive ways that we have articulated the way issues of race, gender, economics, and church differences intersect with our faith. The civility generally maintained is a testimony to the fruits of the Spirit on display in this forum. 

Rose Niles: We each belong to diverse communities as listeners where we wrestle alongside each other. We come to the blog to explore relevant issues of faith from multiple trajectories and weave and model creative conversations.

Anita Coleman: Through confession and truth-telling, in winsome ways, we explore what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, while living in different local contexts and an increasingly interconnected world. We highlight the privileges and injustices of our lived experiences even as we flesh out and model Christian love for each other as well as those who are impoverished, marginalized, oppressed. We share stories that inspire and embolden us to be the kind of church that is a foretaste of God’s kingdom on earth.

Abby King-Kaiser: The blog reminds us of our connections, our breadth and depth. It is easy for me to stay in the weeds of ministry and congregational life and forget who I am connected to.

Joshua Bower: The blog is a unique opportunity for all of us to have a vital presence in the digital world that sparks conversations about Christ across the various boundaries that exist, both in our denomination and in the wider culture. Like many denominations, we in the PC(USA) are pretty “tribal.” We usually interact with who we interact with…and that’s it. This is a chance for us to intentionally cross over into other “tribes” for some mutually-beneficial communication.

Tony Aja: The blog allows our membership to see different points of view about theology, race, white privilege, creative ways of worshiping and developing ministries, etc., in an ever-changing world (demographics, cultures, sexuality and gender, etc.). Through the blog, some of us ”at the margins” are able to raise our voices and challenge the status quo.

Patrick has left publishing to pursue pastoral ministry as the new pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn, NY. Patrick is overflowing with grace and vision and Westminster is undoubtedly blessed. We hope to continue his openness to creativity, commitment to excellence, and love of story as we continue the ministry he started. See what the bloggers have to say about Patrick!

 I’m excited and honored to be sitting at the virtual blog table with so many thoughtful and faithful people from around the country. Together we seek to give voice to living and active Word or God with our own words, pictures, and videos. 

Won’t you join our conversation? 

Every like, share, retweet, and comment can further the conversation and deepen our faith. We look forward to hearing from you!